Photo Equipment in Charity Shops

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Steve Smith, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    In the town where I work there are currently three charity shops (thrift stores in the US?) with photo equipment for sale.

    One has a just a few items, another has devoted both window display areas either side of the entrance to it and yesterday I noticed another shop with about three 35mm SLR bodies and a few lenses also prominently in a window display area.

    One of the lenses was a huge thing. I couldn't see any markings on it but I would guess it was 300mm and had a filter thread of about 72mm or 77mm. No idea what lens mount it was. The shop was closed so I couldn't go in and look but I knew that with a price tag of £5 on it, I had to have it!

    I went back today at lunchtime but it was gone. I did get a Rokkor 50mm lens for £3 though which I have already posted off to the person I gave a Minolta SRT body to a couple of days ago via the free stuff thread.

    This shop also has another couple of Minolta bodies. An old SR and an X-500 - both for £5. I think I will get them!

    Has anyone else seen a lot of photo stuff in charity shops recently?


    Steve.
     
  2. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Yes. I have. Us Yanks call them thrift stores and they're a great place to find photo gear. I found an old Minolta SRT, a 50mm f/1.4 and a 135mm lens for only $14. It seems that a lot of folks are dumping their film gear. Last weekend, I found an old Beseler agitator base for color printing for only $5. Just check the charity store once in a while and it can pay of with a photo bargain. Sad to see that people don't value film gear anymore :sad: But good for analog shooters. Good luck in finding your inexpensive treasure.
     
  3. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

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    Bought a vivitar v2000 in fine shape for $5 last Saturday.It'll make a nice companion to any pentax kit.
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Whilst I often see the odd item or two in charity shops, I find it odd that at the same time, two shops have window displays featuring film cameras and a third shop has a few items in the window too.


    Steve.
     
  5. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Member

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    Hi Steve,

    Within the territory of Islip, I'm finding a lot of 35mm P&S cameras,
    and Minolta Maxxum series lenses with broken mounts. Haven't found
    an SLR or Folder in ages. I won't be discouraged ...

    Ron
    .
     
  6. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I think that a lot of the shops of this sort get fed from people disposing of the left overs of estates.

    Mom or dad have passed on, and the kids have no use for a film camera, so toss it to the thrift organisation.

    In my town, the charities will come round and pick it up for you. Some even call and do a regular round every few months.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I've noticed that some charity shops are quite savvy about values, they check them out. I bought a Photography magazine and they wanted £20 and they wouldn't bargain, they said the price was set by someonelese and they had no authority to change it. But when they realised I wouldn't pay that much and was leaving there was some frantoc internet searching. The assistant said oh here's a similar one for £12 online, so we'll let you have it for £10, at that price the 1900 Chrisymas edition became attractive :D

    Camera's have been marked at the average/normal ebay completed sales prices as well, but I did pick up a signed Martin Parr book for £2.

    I think a lot depends these days on the quality of the staff, some have more idea of how to get higher prices so raising more money for the charities and they seem to have their own websites to build up a data bank. So I've not been seeing many bargains in charity shops in upmarket areas.

    Ian
     
  8. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Very mixed results snooping around S. Ontario. Lots of low-end 70s and 80s stuff, either busted or rough, that I wouldn't bother with. Have found functional Ektagraphic projectors, often cased in good shape, sometimes only in need of a bulb, for cheap. Lots of DIY repair projects and/or possible parts donors. Prowling these places isn't something I spend much time doing anymore. Have actually had better luck among surviving small town camera stores eager to clear their back rooms, though this has thinned out as the stores fold.
     
  9. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    We must have about 8 charity shops in my small town but photographic gear of any kind is conspicuous by its absence. For a small island, Steve, you have an embarassment of riches by comparison. I'll have to move overseas to your place :D

    pentaxuser
     
  10. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    My experience in the States has been that generally all I find at thrift shops is bad p&s cameras, mostly in 35mm with a few APS and 126 mixed in. When 35mm SLRs show up, it's usually in kits with a consumer zoom lens and at an excessive price. There are occasional exceptions, but the return on effort for checking has been pretty low for me.

    *Antique* stores tend to have more interesting cameras---MF folders, old Kodak models, sometimes a Speed Graphic---but almost always way overpriced. (I got my Topcon Super D for a song at one, though.)

    -NT
     
  11. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I have been looking regularly for several years in the West Los Angeles area thrift shops and I have not found any camera equipment worth even thinking about. I do not know where the good stuff goes.

    Steve
     
  12. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    ebay... that's where most of the good stuff seems to go.



    I can't find much of value in the thrift shops either!
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Well, Brian, now at least I do not feel like I am alone in this.
     
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  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There are odd bargains, most go at Car boot sales in the UK and auctions, and I guess Garage sales and auctions in the US.

    Ian
     
  16. mbsmith

    mbsmith Member

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    I've been pretty lucky at the thrift/charity shops.

    I usually have to sift through the obligatory junk, but I found a working Polaroid Spectra for $5 and a Polaroid 330 with a couple of packs of type 108 film for $6.99. Another time I picked up a Polaroid 100 Automatic for about $5.00. All work perfectly and will likely be given as gifts to friends thinking about getting into instant film photography.

    Needless to say, the "demise" of Polaroid has benefited those of us who know that film is still being made for these babies :smile:

    I did find a super nice OM-1n with a zuiko 50 1.8 at an antique shop for $15 a couple of years back. But usually I've found the antique shops to be low quality and high prices in regards to camera gear.
     
  17. mabman

    mabman Member

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    One of the biggest thrift stores locally gets a variety of cameras regularly (mostly 35mm fixed-focus P&S, but occasionally something interesting). Unfortunately they price any camera they can't identify at $35 including aforementioned P&S units and anything that looks remotely interesting at $60 or higher (not sure who sets the prices - the 2 price points seem fairly random). For some reason they think Brownie Hawkeye Flashes are worth $35 (in any condition, with or without flash), which is a little...ambitious.
     
  18. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

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    My little secret

    Visit www.shopgoodwill.com for gear. I have seen pretty nice stuff there in camera gear and books and prints.
    I bought an original Barnbaum print for $80.00
    :smile::smile::smile:
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Our local thrift store has had some really good finds for me.

    Unfortunately it seems that they have one volunteer who has experience checking and doing minor repairs on a lot of different things, including photo equipment. The staff there save it for him to look over. He always works the same day of the week, and the collectors and pickers who buy for a living have figured out when that is. So they line up at opening time and scoop all the best stuff.

    He's done a couple of favours for me but generally I don't get to see the best stuff.
     
  20. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Yep, very clean 16x20", 5x7", 8x10" printing trays that hardly looked used.
     
  21. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Some charity shops operate their own ebay stores, I have bought photographic equipment from a couple of them.

    Ian
     
  22. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    eBay causes problems in this respect. Charity shops (and other sellers) see a perfect example of something worth having sell for £100 on eBay and then put the same tag on their knocked-about knackered example with a Prinz/Chinon/Bottombottlar lens.

    Steve
     
  23. domaz

    domaz Member

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    I bought a Voigtlander Bessa II with a Heliar at a thrift shop for $14. No I'm not telling you which one- that is my little secret.
     
  24. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    You can be as secretive as you'd like... we all know the Bessa is gone. :smile:
     
  25. willrea

    willrea Member

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    Now I'm going to have to start looking up in Tacoma! :tongue:
    Only crappy P&S cameras in Olympia/Lacey.
     
  26. zesbaugh

    zesbaugh Member

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    There aren't that many thrift shops in Tacoma...I'm off on a new quest!